Yesterday, the world’s most ambitious media blockchain company had a very public embarrassment. It was the last day of a public token sale for the Civil Foundation, a media project using blockchain to launch a new generation of ad-free media startups. But when it came time to sell the token at the center of it all, the project came up short. Civil had initially planned to raise as much as $24 million, and pledged to return the money if it raised less than $8 million. In the final accounting, less than $1.5 million was spent on tokens, more than $1 million of it coming from Civil’s direct investors at ConsenSys.
The company put the blame on a needlessly complex process for buying tokens, and pledged to try again, returning donations in advance of a refigured sale in the weeks to come. But the result is still a disastrous start for a project that has struggled to gain momentum in the cryptocurrency world.
“Filecoin is a way to pay people to run Dropbox on their computer,” Iles told me. “Civil is a way to crowdsource accurate and ethical information, at minimum. We’re complicated only insofar it’s important how we do things.”